Respiratory disorder in children – Controlling asthma in children
Controlling asthma in children
Nearly 35 per cent of children in lndia are prone to some or the other respiratory disorder. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway that can cause tremendous discomfort to a patient. Most children in their early years have bouts of coughing and wheezing, which are the symptoms asthma. But this does not mean that they all are going to develop asthma.Also, early diagnosis of asthma in young children can help control and manage the disease well.
Timely diagnosis and And Medication
In case the wheezing and shortness of breath continues after the age of six,it would be prudent of parents to take their child to a doctor specialising in pulmonary diseases to check for asthma. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help prevent disturbances to a child’s daily routine. Also, proper management will allow a child to carry out all his activities such as sleep, play, sports and school freely.
The drugs that are used to treat asthma are important; the form in which these medicines are administered to the body is also very important. The advantage of using inhaled therapy is that it directly reaches the target organ i.e. the lungs in small doses with less chances of it affecting other parts of the body. On the contrary oral corticosteroids given in high amounts, travel throughout the body to reach the lungs and can therefore lead to serious systemic side effects.
Peak Flow Meter
A peak flow meter measures how well the lungs push out air. A peak flow meter is a handheld plastic tube with a mouthpiece at one end which one breathes in to. lt measures the force of air in litres per minute and gives a reading on a built-in numbered scale. A peak flow meter can help monitor asthma over a period of time and even daily. Daily monitoring helps identify what aggravates the asthma and whether the patient is responding to the medication or not. The peak flow monitor also helps identify inflammation and swelling in the airways even before the symptoms of asthma are seen and this helps a patient to take the necessary measures to avoid an
One of the biggest challenges for the management of asthma is the discontinuation of the medication,once the symptoms have subsided.Often, this may be to save the cost of medication. However, one needs to understand that being symptom free does not mean one is free of the disease. lt could flare up anytime. So,it is important to remember that any such step should only be taken, if it is recommended by the doctor.